Winter Wonderland: I am a fragile tropical flower.

I assume no one’s surprised that I’m rolling into a post about thanksgiving way after the actual date. That’s because I am a winner.

 

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I celebrated my first thanksgiving in America. This year was even better than last years though, because I was lucky enough to have my family come out and celebrate with them. Thanksgiving is always a special time for me. It mark the point where I can officially start to celebrate christmas in public, instead of just talking about who excited I am about it (see: the entire month of November. My friends must be sick of my gushing. I just really enjoy christmas, ok?)

No, I’m just joking. Thanksgiving has a special connotation for me because in Hong Kong it would be one of the big parties my parents would throw. I have so many memories of being dressed up and stuffing myself with turkey, watching the adults table longingly when members of the kids table would graduate to that hallowed ground.

This thanksgiving I celebrated again in Oregon, only this time I brought along my roommate with me. She bravely embraced the insanity of my family (we are all very loving in a shouting and arms waving way) and spent five days with me in the beautiful town of Bend and then later Portland.

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Unsurprisingly, neither of us were prepared for the winter. We’re talking temperatures that include snow, ice and all those  fun little things about cold weather like frostbite. The second we stepped off the plane it was right into the middle of Antartica (or so it seemed to two SoCal girls). The second I stepped out of the airport I promptly slipped on a patch of ice and bit the dust. We spent a lot of the weekend talking about how cold it was and staying firmly inside. Any movement to go anywhere required the assembling of an outfit with two many layers to count. It turns out we make very cute marshmallow people though.

 

photo 1

 

We also went snowshoeing for the very first time. It’s something that I’m super glad we did, because it was just so beautiful. There’s really nothing like winter, when it goes all quiet in the soft cold light to remind you just how beautiful the world can be. I certainly admired it as much as possible, until I actually couldn’t feel my butt anymore and we slogged home. Poor Mom got a phone call begging for hot chocolate before we’d even reached the door.

 

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COLD COLD COLD.

In any case, this is just going to be a very quick post about how wonderful it was to take a break from college. The reason why i’ve been so late posting is because everything has gone full speed ahead with finals week. Definitely a good reason to relax and completely stuff myself with good food and better company.

It’s going to be a rough week ahead, that’s for sure. Good luck to anyone going through finals, and remember to be thankful for the amazing beauty that the world holds. Just, you know, from inside.

 

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Raise your hand if you ate way too much to this weekend.

My Aunt reading what our family was thankful for.

My Aunt reading what our family was thankful for.

Thanksgiving this year proved bittersweet. Growing up, it was the only party that my parents really threw. I would spend all year ridiculously excited for the opportunity to get dressed up and eat good food. The day would be spent cooking and setting up, and at the appointed time, guests would flood in. Our apartment would be bustling with laughter and the smell of home cooked turkey roasting in the oven. Thanksgiving definitely ranks amongst my top three holidays.

They have the most beautiful views

They have the most beautiful views

(For those wondering: 1. Christmas 2. Christmas Eve 3. Thanksgiving. Can you tell I really like Christmas?)

These three monsters would not stop jumping on me for a picture.

These three monsters would not stop jumping on me for a picture.

This year however, going home wasn’t really an option. So I upped sticks and headed over to my Aunt and Uncle’s place for Thanksgiving. Going from Hong Kong to a small town in Oregon is quite a change. Far more low key and very relaxed on my part. But with equally lovely people. It was great to be able to spend time with the American side of the family, and I adored being able to play with my second cousins. (They were thankful for Batman, Herself and Halloween Kitty) Everyone couldn’t have been nicer, and the experience was just as lovely as the one at home. Still, it was slightly melancholy. It’s always a bit sad when you see the end of traditions, but I soon perked up at the sight of the (five!) deserts that awaited me.

Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, orange cake, chocolate cake, apple pie...

Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, orange cake, chocolate cake, apple pie…

The day after Thanksgiving I was lucky enough to go see my best friend in Portland for the weekend. We spent a great couple of days hanging out and shopping (black Friday is dangerous both physically and wallet-wise). Immediately after landing, my best friend dragged me to a Lil’ Debbie concert, which was an experience, to say the least. Still, the highlight of my week was going out to pick a Christmas tree with her family, and I literally had a smile on my face for hours after. Christmas is officially here my friends.

And it was FREEZING in Oregon

And it was FREEZING in Oregon

Of course, after a couple of amazing days, it was somewhat of a let-down to hear from roommates and find out that our power had gone down and the fridge was broken. Not to mention all the work I had waiting for me (finals are right around the corner – eep!) When I arrived however, I received a lovely surprise. My brilliant roommate had decorated the dorm while we were gone – wreaths, garlands, stockings, and even a little miniature Christmas tree!! It is just the cutest!

So, while I’m not looking forward to the stress of finals, I’m very lucky to have such amazing people in my life!

And of course, Christmas.

XX